Perspectives and experiences of COVID-19 vaccination in people with autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease.

Publication date: Jan 01, 2024

People with autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease (AIIRD) are at an increased risk of morbidity from COVID-19. While COVID-19 vaccination is effective at reducing disease complications, there have been significant levels of vaccine hesitancy in people with AIIRD. We aimed to understand vaccine hesitancy and promote shared decision-making by describing the experiences and perspectives of people with AIIRD who had concerns with COVID-19 vaccinations. Adults with AIIRD on immunosuppressive medications who expressed concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccination were purposively sampled until thematic saturation. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Sixteen adults with an AIIRD were interviewed. Thematic analysis yielded four themes: heightened sense of vulnerability; determining individual suitability; desperate for freedom and relief; deterred by scepticism. The perspectives of people with AIIRD towards the COVID-19 vaccination were shaped by a sense of vulnerability. The decision-making experience was challenging, resulting from struggles with handling information, dealing with external pressures, and facing negativity. A collaborative approach, involving close family and friends and avoiding negativity and pressure can improve engagement and support decision-making around COVID-19 vaccination. Clearly addressing potential risks of vaccination may prevent subsequent regret and hesitancy if they arise.

Concepts Keywords
Autoimmune Autoimmune diseases
Covid COVID-19
Inflammatory Rheumatic Disease
Interviews Vaccination
Vaccinations Vaccine hesitancy


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO vaccination
disease MESH rheumatic disease
disease MESH morbidity
disease VO effective
disease MESH complications
disease VO vaccine
disease MESH Autoimmune diseases

Original Article

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